Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced Tuesday that his committee will be holding confirmation hearings for Judge Sonia Sotomayor on July 13. That's the start of a pretty ambitious schedule -- he wants her confirmed by the time the Senate goes into recess on Aug. 7.
The question, as always, is whether Senate Republicans are willing to play ball. They almost certainly don't have the votes to block Sotomayor, and so far they've been unable to find a silver bullet to use against her. But at the same time, they need to convince the base that they did something, and stalling for time at least gives the appearance of that. They've been trying that tack, but even with this relatively accelerated schedule, it might not work. Chief Justice John Roberts was confirmed in roughly the same amount of time that Leahy's allotting this process.